-3.7 C
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Robotic competition allows high school teams to face off against their peers


News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

20-year-old agreement causes a stir

An Elmira environmentalist’s “smoking gun” appears to be shooting blanks. Al Marshall, a long-time critic of cleanup efforts at...

Forks up to farmers on well-timed Agriculture Day

February is not the most obvious time to celebrate agriculture in Canada. But that’s...

EDSS student wins $5,000 scholarship to pursue his university education

Max Campbell’s dreams of perhaps one day making it to space got a down-to-Earth boost last week in the...


clear sky
-3.7 ° C
1 °
-7 °
85 %
1 %
5 °
6 °
3 °
6 °
1 °

Technology and creativity came together last weekend at the FIRST Robotics Waterloo Regional competition.

Two teams from Woolwich Township, one from Woodland Christian High School and the other from Elmira District Secondary School, competed with their robots, joining up with other teams to complete tasks throughout the two-day contest.

Nat Stroobosscher is on the CyberCavs, the WCHS team, and placed sixth overall. He says the competition was hard, but his team came through in the end.

“Competition for us went very well,” he said, adding that they were up against some strong challengers. “There are a lot of teams from Stoney Creek and St. Catharines that are very difficult to stand up to.”

The local competition is just one of the hundreds of regionals around the world. It took place on Apr. 1 and 2 at the University of Waterloo. The idea is to get young people, mainly high school students, to put their heads together to create a robot that can complete a given task. Once the task is announced, the teams are given six weeks to come up with a robot design and put it into action.

This year’s challenge was to get a 10-inch foam ball into a target eight feet off the ground. That may sound simple, but there were obstacles in the way. For every obstacle they conquered and task the teams completed, they were awarded points.

Teams from Woodside Christian High School in Breslau and Elmira District Secondary School put their robots to the test at the annual Waterloo Regional FIRST Robotics competition last weekend. [Submitted]
Teams from Woodside Christian High School in Breslau and Elmira District Secondary School put their robots to the test at the annual Waterloo Regional FIRST Robotics competition last weekend. [Submitted]

Evan Courtis, a member of the EDSS Lancerbots, says part of the challenge in this year’s competition was getting the robot built in time.

“The six-week build season, that was a huge challenge in itself, just getting the robot ready for competition,” he said, adding that there were also some obstacles his team had to overcome between rounds at the competition. “We had a decent amount of breakdowns and just a few problems with the robot in general between matches. There might only be 10 to 15 minutes between challenges to fix those problems and be ready for the next round.”

Although the Lancerbots didn’t place as highly as they wanted to – they ended up in 12th – Courtis says he is proud of the team and their high quality of teamwork.

“We really figured out what we had to do and got down and did it,” he said. “If there was something that had to be fixed, you couldn’t spend time talking about it. You just had to get down and do it.”

For the CyberCavs, Stroobosscher says one challenge they faced was trying to fit too many gizmos on the robot itself. They started big, and had to pare down their end product.

“We started with the idea of wanting to do everything the game required us to do and then as we got later in the season, we have to dial it back. There was a climbing aspect to the game where you had to climb a rung that was seven feet off the ground. We actually ran out of room on the robot for that mechanism, but we still did fairly well,” he said.

Both Stroobosscher and Courtis are graduating from their respective schools this year, but have some things they would like the teams to work on in their absence for next year’s regional competitions.

“I think that we can when they are designing the robot, to make the robot slightly more efficient, said Courtis. “Every year we have been able to complete the task, but it is just the speed we can complete the task at. So that is one thing I really hope to prioritized for next year – efficiency.”

Stroobosscher says he wants to see the WCHS CyberCavs keep using the resources around them to develop their time management skills – something he says took a big leap forward with this year’s team.

“I think this year, we established ourselves as a team and how to work properly as a team. There are tasks that we have previously just thrown time at, where as this year, we have been very organized and we had mentors that have really headed up departments rather than throwing jobs at people,” he said. “The team structure has been really good. They have all really helped us learn a structure and get things done.”

To check out the CyberCavs robot and to learn more about their team, visit www.cybercavs.com.

To learn more about the Lancerbots, visit www.4917.ca.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Under the auctioneer’s gavel to provide help Down Under

After seeing the devastation from the Australian wildfires, a local art collector sold the first painting she ever bought on Saturday to help raise money for relief efforts there. Nancy...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

EDSS performers take Broadway under the sea

By Steve Kannon skannon@woolwichobserver.com The tropics, under the sea or otherwise, seem like a much better place...

Sugar Kings win three games, clinch first place

In need of just one more win to clinch first place in the Midwestern Conference, the Elmira Sugar Kings claimed all three games...

U.S. edges out Canada in national para hockey battle

In the natural on-ice rivalry between Canada and the U.S., the American para hockey team has had the advantage in recent years. That...
- Advertisement -